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Kazakhstan: Demonstrations

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 105521, tabled on 17 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to her counterpart in Kazakhstan on reported unlawful killings and excessive use of force by security forces against people protesting against deteriorating living standards and the repression of peaceful protest.

Answered on

25 January 2022

We are deeply concerned by the violent clashes witnessed in Kazakhstan in early January and greatly regret the loss of life. We condemn the acts of violence and destruction of property seen, particularly in the city of Almaty. The reasons behind the violence remain unclear, although we note that President Tokayev has characterised what happened as an 'attempted coup'. We also take note of the President's decision to establish an investigative commission and await a full account of what led to these unprecedented events and loss of life. We continue to engage directly with the Kazakh authorities to gain further insights into the chain of events and information about those who have been reported as detained, missing or dead. We are also in contact with human rights and other civil society organisations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon spoke with the Kazakh Ambassador to the UK on 6 January, with Deputy Foreign Minister Alimbayev on 7 January and with President Tokayev's Special Representative, Erzhan Kazykhan, on 14 January. During these meetings, he underlined the importance of law enforcement responses being proportionate, that due process is followed in the judicial system, and that freedom of speech and expression are respected in line with Kazakhstan's international commitments.